BILOXI, Miss. (PIX11) – A brave trucker, equipped only with a small fire extinguisher, decided to act after a car burst into flames in front of him on a Mississippi highway, and his heroic decision saved the lives of a grandmother and infant who were trapped inside.
Despite saving two lives, David Fredericksen — who recorded the entire thing with his dash cam — remains humble and told car website Jalopnik he doesn’t feel like a hero:
“Really what I feel is when I first got out of the truck, I was praying that they wouldn’t be dead. I just wanted to put the fire out, but when I saw they were alive, I was like “SWEET!” he said.
According to the description of the video, posted by his son, Fredericksen was driving along I10 near Biloxi when the car attempted to merge and drove straight into the side of an 18-wheeler, rupturing the gas tank and engulfing the car in a ball of flames.
“No. What are you going to do?” his passenger can be heard asking.
“I got a fire extinguisher,” Fredericksen replies.
His son explained:
The doors of the car were jammed shut and the driver suffering a broken leg could not exit the vehicle.
Luckily my father had a fire extinguisher on hand to fight back the flames and give enough time to pull the driver and her 1 year old granddaughter out of the flaming vehicle. Once the passengers are free from the vehicle the flames rapidly grow in strength consuming the vehicle.
Thankfully my father had the presence of mind, bravery, and forethought of carrying a fire extinguisher, to be the first person on scene to risk his own life in order to possibly save another and to inspire others and lead them into taking action. Everyone involved in the rescue effort is a hero in my books.
The police and fire department responded within minutes of the accident and also deserve praise.
Fredericksen said he saw the grandmother, who had a broken leg, trying to kick the driver-side door free, despite her injuries. He managed to jerk the stuck door from the frame, and then noticed the woman’s granddaughter strapped into a car seat in the back.
Incredibly, he said, the car seat shifted during the accident and slid away from the flames. Apart from the broken leg, neither suffered serious injury.
By the time police arrived, grandmother and granddaughter were sitting safely on the side of the highway.